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Harder than hell: Discovery SVX rolls out

Published: 12 September 2017

► Rufty-tufty Disco veers off-road
► Created by SVO division
► On show at Frankfurt motor show 2017

Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations facility has, to date, focussed on the ‘Sport’ side of Land Rover’s premium Sport Utility remit, with the Range Rover Sport SVR and Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic being fast and loud cases in point. 

Land Rover Discovery SVX looking angry

Now, to plug the ‘Utility’ gap until new Defender we’ve the Discovery SVX, an SVO-fettled go-anywhere Discovery big on all-terrain capability and the visual menace to terrify remote tribesman.

What's under the bonnet for the Land Rover Discovery SVX? 

The SVX will be built exclusively around Land Rover’s supercharged V8; a proven, good-time engine developing 518bhp and 461lb ft of torque. (The standard Discovery makes do with petrol and diesel V6s). 

On the SVX the other big news mechanically is hydraulic roll control, which promises the extreme wheel articulation required for off-road performance without compromising on-road driving dynamics and a decent level of body control. 

A more rugged, long-travel version of the Discovery’s air suspension system lifts the monocoque further from the terrain beneath its wheels, improving the Discovery’s already serious approach, break-over and departure angles, while the powertrain uses an active centre differential, electronic rear locking diff and unique software for the eight-speed auto gearbox with two-speed transfer box.

How will it drive?

Mix all of the above with the Discovery’s go-anywhere Terrain Response 2 programme and the SVX’s big, deep-sidewall all-terrain tyres and the net result should be mind-bending off-road capability eclipsing that of the already mighty standard car. 

We’ve taken a non-SVX Discovery across boulder fields, through rivers and over boggy heathland without bother on next-to-no off-road driving talent.

Land Rover Discovery SVX off-road

Exterior styling reflects Land Rover’s peerless 70-year back catalogue of vehicles capable of traversing the planet’s least car-friendly environments. 

SVX-specific front and rear bumpers with bashplates and recovery eyes layer further visual menace on top of the already moody satin Tectonic Grey paint with Rush Orange accents the latter a neat nod to the G4 Challenge cars. 

Much of the exterior detailing is blacked out, including the roof bars, while a roof-mounted lamp pod means the SVX needn’t stop rocking on just because the sun’s gone down. The integrated winch will likely be used to recover other, lesser vehicles than to extricate the Discovery SVX itself, but it’s rated way beyond the Land Rover’s weight nevertheless.

Land Rover Discovery SVX wheel

Inside you get the same vast and light-drenched cabin as the standard car, albeit with SVX branded seats and a pistol-style gearlever in place of the standard car’s rotary control – all the better for timely shifts in tense off-road scenarios.

When can I buy one? Can I buy one?

Adventurers with robust bank balances (reckon on a six-figure price) are invited to register their interest on Land Rover’s website, with production set to commence next year. 

Land Rover SVX gear lever

Click here for our full A-Z of all the new cars at Frankfurt 2017

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three

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